Why Does A Mirror Make An Accessible Bathroom Feel Bigger?

It is the oldest trick in interior design, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that the easiest way to make a bathroom feel bigger is by incorporating a huge statement mirror.

All accessible bathrooms will have mirrors in them as in terms of function it is as important to a bathroom as having a shower, bathtub or toilet.

However, over the past few years, the main mirror in front of the sink of many bathroom designs has gotten bigger, and whilst part of it is a matter of aesthetics and function, there is also the fact that a well-placed giant mirror makes a bathroom feel bigger.

This is true even in somewhat tiny bathrooms where it is difficult to fit a bathtub in at times, but whilst most people are aware that it works, they might not know why it works as well as it does.

The answer to this revolves around how people perceive size and space, and the ways in which this perception can be slightly tricked and altered.


Light And Space

When we look at anything, our eyes are taking in the light from a light source, and the various ways different types of surfaces and objects interfere with that surface will affect how they look to us when the light eventually reaches us.

This is how we can perceive different colours, textures and transparencies in an instant, but it is not a foolproof system, and designers can take advantage of how different colours and surfaces work to change the perception of an entire room.

An easy example of this, and one so common that it has started to fall out of fashion, is to paint a room white or an off-white neutral shade. Lighter colours reflect light away, which in turn makes the wall feel further away than it actually is.

The reverse is also true, so painting a room black, charcoal or a rich shade of a primary colour such as midnight blue or burgundy will make the walls feel closer and create a more intimate atmosphere for a room that would otherwise feel too big or distant.

However, the best way to take full advantage of this is to position a mirror around eye level on the back wall facing the door, as this will provide the biggest immediate impact on perception. If it is opposite the window, it works even better but it works fine if it is the wall next to the window.

If light shades of paint or tile make a room feel better through reflection, the outright reflective properties of mirrors work even better.

A lot of designers, particularly those who use styles such as minimalism or modern farmhouse take this to much greater extremes, removing as much excess detail as possible to not give the eye a focal point to judge distance.

This can include the mirror frame itself, so having a frameless mirror or one with a tiny frame can help increase the perception of size even further, which is a trick commonly used when selling a house.

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